Photo Lisette Nepveu

It was during a stretch of strained ligaments that I was wondering whether the guys are taking the time to take care of themselves.

In the french version of this article, I still use the word “stretch” because it’s one of those words that requires no explanation in either language. And I can see some of our Francophone brothers coming down the street with their protests and placards accusing me of trying to kill the French langauge. I’ll clock ‘em with my Bescherelle or my Petit Larousse if they get too close!

This is where I’m tempted to get into a rant on our various charters, or constant demand to scrub our language and the world of all of its rough edges and enriching foreign elements. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize myself in elements in the Charter of Values or the defence of our Francophonie surrounded by a sea of English and people arriving from the four corners of the world. But I think it’s more important to reach for understanding, with words, sounds, gestures and images. If the goal is to mix it all, the world will be a richer place.

But that’s enough navel-gazing, which I suppose is a form of stretching.There are people who stretch cold before games, others afterward, and even a few hardcore types who stretch between periods. In my book, even if I stretched cold before games back when I was a goaltender, it seems to me you have to warm up your body before making an elastic of it, and risk snapping it. Personally, I feel less stiff when I stretch after our games, and the feeling seems to be shared by several people who do likewise after games.

I’m sure we can’t blame all of the rash of recent injuries we’ve had on the fact many of our players don’t stretch before or after our games, but it is clear that to maintain our bodies, certain reinforcing exercises and stretches won’t hurt in preventing some injuries.

So the question remains: Why aren’t you stretching?

JFD (As translated by Les Perreaux)